8 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude (If You Find It Hard)

Building a daily gratitude habit is not only beneficial, but also necessary. Because we are constantly chasing the next big thing in our lives. So much so that we allow the present moment to pass us by. We believe that once we achieve our goals, we can finally be happy. But it’s quite the opposite. Only when you are grateful for your current life can you be grateful when you finally achieve your goals.

As Jim Rohn mentioned in his book, ‘We don’t have to be rich to live richly. All of the happiness and fulfilment we want can be ours right now simply by changing how we feel and think about our lifestyle.’ Make gratitude a part of your lifestyle to live a more satisfied and contented life. List down a few things you are grateful for, everyday.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Why Practicing Gratitude Leads To A Happier Life?

It won’t happen immediately and it might seem a little eerie at first. But doing this every day, will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful. It usually takes eight weeks of practice to change your brain patterns.

1. Because It Reminds You Of The Positive Things In Life

“You can’t be grateful and negative at the same time.”

We don’t take enough time to appreciate and fall in love with our lives. Practicing gratitude teaches you to appreciate the big things in life; such as your health, the weather, and your family. And celebrate the small wins; like catching the bus at the right time, or being kind to a stranger.

gratitude, happiness, family

2. Because It Makes You See The Good In The Bad

Being grateful allows you to appreciate life even when things don’t go as planned. After all, we are the ones who decide whether something is good or bad.

Having work problems? at least you have a job. Having relationship problems? At least you have a loving family. Struggling with your eating habits? Your body still chooses to support you everyday.

Be grateful for the challenges you face; they make you better equipped for your future endeavors. They help you grow. When you approach challenges as an opportunity to learn something new, you’ll notice how the results improve.

Related Post : How To Be Positive In Tough Times

3. Because We Are Able To See What’s Important

When we practice gratitude we gain sense of what’s more important to us. Often, we let the smallest things ruin our days; maybe you didn’t have coffee in the morning, you forgot your earphones, your favorite shirt went missing, or a friend made a comment.

Appreciating little things allows you to gain perspective and realize that there is far more to be grateful for than to complain about in life. It’s hard to complaint about your bills when you are thankful for your amazing family. And It’s difficult to feel bad while comparing yourself to someone when you are grateful for the life that you’re creating.

4. Because It Reminds You To Thank Others

We are all guilty of taking our loved ones for granted. Of course, you love and appreciate them, but it won’t hurt to say it out loud. People love when their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated. Even saying “Thank You” to a stranger, who held the door for you, counts. It helps in strengthening of your relationships.

It’s equally important to appreciate yourself. Give yourself credit for your hard work and accomplishments. Be proud of the life you’ve created.

coffee shop, thanking a stranger

Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

You would’ve already heard a lot about the benefits of practicing gratitude. Everybody tells that. But how do you do it? How does a simple act of focusing on the good creates massive changes in your life?

If you find it hard to practice gratitude, here are a few simple ways for you. Remember, the key is to practice gratitude daily.

1. Be Intentional

Your gratitude will never be a result of your next achievement or next buy. Start being grateful for the things you have today, and life will give you more things to be grateful for. You might not be living your dream life but be grateful that you have all the means to create that life.

2. Appreciate Others

It’s always a good idea to tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Don’t just think of the people who make your life beautiful; call them and give thanks, write a note, or tell them in person. It makes them happy, and you even happier.

Don’t feel shy to say “thank you” to a stranger; maybe your Uber driver or the person who took your Starbucks order. You know you’re grateful for them as well. 

barista, coffee, gratitude

3. Practice Gratitude In Your Morning Routine

Practicing gratitude as the first thing after you wake up can be powerful. Take out 5 minutes in your morning routine to write down 3 things you are thankful for — Whether it’s something that happened yesterday or something that you’re excited about in the future.

You can also practice mindfulness or meditate on the intention to be grateful.

4. Start With The Little Things

Be grateful for your health, your family, and the food you eat. But you can’t really be thankful for the same things daily. Dig a little deeper, define the moments — “Be grateful for the food your mom cooked when you were swamped with work.”, or “Be grateful for your friend who tried to cheer you up.”

Also, focus on the little things, such as hitting 3 green lights in a row, catching the train at the right time, or when a random kid smiles at you. 

traffic light, green light, flowers, grateful

5. Thankful For Challenges

It might be difficult to focus on the good, when things go bad. But when practicing gratitude becomes a habit, your perspective shifts, and you begin to see challenges as opportunities to grow and learn.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

6. Keep A Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journaling is the process of listing 3-5 things you appreciate, everyday. It is a mindful practice. When you write something down, you have no choice but to consciously think about those moments. Feel those positive emotions. Explain why you’re grateful for the things you listed, to gain better insights. 

Related Post : Journaling Series | How To Start A Journal Practice

gratitude journal that says ' Today I am Grateful'

7. Volunteer

Do something good for others. Volunteer and assist those in need. Even the simple acts like paying for the order of the person behind you, or feeding the street dogs can bring you happiness. We feel more grateful when we give back.

8. Express Gratitude While Praying

Prayers can be a form of expressing gratitude; to be thankful for your life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be religious. You can pray to god, the universe, or whatever higher power you believe in.

What Are You Grateful For?

Hope you got some inspiration from this post. Make a list of things you’re grateful for and share it in the comments below. Maybe your list would inspire someone else! Make it a habit. It’s okay if you miss a day or two, or more; come back and start appreciating what you have to receive more things to be grateful for.

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